Can I REALLY Just Be Myself?

I was so impressed with this little beauty Sabina Brave included in her Always be yourself post over at Taste of life by Sabi:

And I said as much in a comment there. But then I had to ask myself if there really was a place where someone like me could actually follow that advice? You see, I live in Ohio, a place so conservative that a psychiatrist once suggested that I consider accepting my mother’s invitation to live with her in Los Angeles. Obviously, she’s never been to LA. I have, and the two years I lived there were two of the very worst years of my life.

That’s when that damned song from the Internet Explorer TV commercial started looping around in my head:

So then I watched the most recent episode of Harry’s Law on my DVR. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the show, but I like it because it takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio and depicts a conservative law firm taking on cases that any self-respecting Neo-Con (if such a thing actually exists) would run away from as fast as he could. Yeah, Harry Korn (Kathy Bates) is the kind of conservative I believed in back in the days of Ronald Reagan.

And “The Contest” episode was no exception, as they defended a 17 year old high school girl who, outraged by the Obama administration’s bowing to political expedience over solid scientific advise, was on trial for drug trafficking because she chose to buy and resell those “morning after” pills to other female students who were too young to buy them without parental consent. Amazingly enough, they won an acquittal for the girl – something that would never happen in the Ohio I live in, no matter how much I wanted it to!

So then I went back to my DVR to watch the “We Need The Eggs” episode of House M.D.:

Now is there anyone who actually believes that such a man could ever be respected by the “fellow humans” that actually populate this planet? I think not. Well House reflects the “inner me” better than any “real” person I’ve ever met – except for the whole him being brilliant thing and the fact that my cane spends a lot more time hanging in the closet – and that scares the crap out of me when it comes to actually saying what I really think to other people. So, despite the inclusion of great music like:

And an “in-cast” version (which was unavailable) of:

All I could hear in my mind was “And it feels like I am just too close to love you.” And let me tell you, it’s damned hard to drown out Cher singing with Beavis & Butt-Head!

In the end, I know that I’ve never met anyone that has agreed with the positions I’ve taken in my Tolerance… Not! and Major Rants posts, and they’ve gone damned near apoplectic when I talked about Ayn Rand the way I do in my In Her Own Words volume!

I ask you, is it any wonder why I live my life as an “Urban Hermit” today? Or why I fantasize about having my own “Button” like the one at the end of this video I offered as a comment on the great Would You Push the Button? post over at Motley News?:

I want ice water.

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38 thoughts on “Can I REALLY Just Be Myself?

  1. House is a classic character. Meanwhile, I too appreciate Harry’s Law … yet what many don’t realize is that Cincinnati is the state’s conservative center – so yep – that wouldn’t happen here.

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    • Wow Frank, I didn’t realize you were so close! Like House, Harry’s Law is one of my favorites. I do have that feeling though, that it won’t be renewed after this season. That’s too bad. I was hoping that it’s “Party of Lincoln” style of conservatism would open some eyes…

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  2. I think the first step to truly being ‘ourselves’ is to stop identifying ourselves through rhetoric, slogans, and empty sentimentality. Allowing others to be themselves, without questioning them, is a characteristic of someone with a strong, healthy sense of self-value. Suspicion and mistrust, which should never be confused with intellectual reasoning, are signs of emotional dependency and lack of confidence. Being ourselves never hinges on others playing by our rules, we are ourselves despite what others choose to do.
    So, yes, you can REALLY just be yourself, and in reality…there’s no one else you can be. And I happen to think you’re pretty damn cool.

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  3. I agree with Alex. You have to be yourself. There’s no one else you can be. You can, with a lot of hard work and constant vigilance, pretend to be someone else — until it becomes too exhausting to keep up the pretense. Ultimately the easiest, most honest way to live is as yourself.

    (As for overcoming conservative surroundings — you should try growing up in Okla. City. Eek!)

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  4. I don’t really worry about the respect of others. As long as I can respect myself, the rest of the world will come around.
    Yeah,. I have friends with diametrically opposed philosophies, but we all respect each others points of view and, while we try and persuade each other to come to the other side, we are still friends and accepting of each other.

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    • I agree that we shouldn’t worry about the respect of others El Guapo but, since one’s philosophy is the defining force of his life, a person who’s world-view includes a conflicted concept like “friends with diametrically opposed philosophies” is a person who is defined by a need to self-destruct! 😕

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      • Not at all. We are each opened to the possibility that one of us may one day convince the other.
        I’ve hung out in more than enough neighborhood bars in my day to know that even with the things that separate us, we have a lot more in common than in opposition.
        I gave up my quest for self-destruction years ago.
        Mostly.
        hehehe

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        • I’ve spent an absurdly large amount of my life in heated-yet-friendly debates on all the topics everyone says we should avoid – like politics, religion, and sex. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy those times or that I didn’t learn a lot from the process – like the beautiful things we do all have in common. But I also came to believe that my efforts to “convince” others of the “truth” as I saw it amounted to a “quest for self-destruction” on my own part. In the end, I’ll just go with what I’ve stated in my sidebar:

          “The Only Thing I’m Certain Of Is: I Don’t Know Everything! All Of My Opinions Are Subject To Change As New Facts Come In.” 😀

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  5. We should all just try being ourselves.. But as is often the case.. Many are not always satisfied with ourself so they put on that Telephone voice or try to keep up with the Jone’s etc… trying to be someone else.. I think if we were content with ourselves more.. and like an earlier comment made by El Guapo, We held ourselves in ‘Respect’ more, then we would respect others instead of putting others down.. For often we think less of ourselves, and worry what others may think…
    At my age now.. I care less about what others think.. And Think more of myself… And I am more content with who I am today than at any other time in my life.. Live For The NOW.. for that is the Only moment we have..

    Sabina has a great site of upliftment.. and brightens up many of mornings with her posts.. 🙂 ~Sue

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    • Thanks Sue. As usual, you give us all nice insights to reflect upon. Just remember that self-respect derives from acting in a way that’s consistent with your own rational self-interests. So-called “selfless” behavior is usually in direct contradiction to that. 😀

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  6. I may not always agree with what my friends say but I do listen to them and come up with a diplomatic “agree to disagree” every now and then. And I admire anyone who has the balls to say what’s on their mind when it’s going to get someone’s butt chapped. I may just change my mind on something. If I only listen to my side I’m never going to grow as a person and there are too many folks out there who have their fingers stopping up their ears. Rant on!! And then rant some more!!
    I am a true cavedweller…I’ve never read Ayn Rand but I intend to remedy that!

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    • “Cavedweller” eh? That’s funny, because I’ve been called that many times myself, and not in the really cool way you mean it. One of the vilest philosophical forces in human history, Plato, said that humans are incapable of perceiving “true” reality, and instead see only it’s misleading “shadows” reflected on the walls of the “caves” we all live in.

      What could possibly be worse than teaching our children that they are incapable of perceiving the truth with their own eyes and minds? And yet that is the philosophical root of every belief system in the world save one: the Objectivist philosophy developed by Ayn Rand.

      I hope you do look into her works for yourself MZ. You can get a good sampling of it – without spending a dime – by checking out my In Her Own Words volume. A mind so beautifully irreverent enough as to write something like “Jesus Loves You…Not! He Loves Mary” is a mind I can’t help but admire! 😀

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  7. Blahahahaha IzaakMak, years ago when I was filming in ultra conservative Geneva in Switzerland, the cameraman (Mega) and I went to a McDonalds and they happen to have a jukebox with, of all things, Beavis and Butthead and Cher “I got you babe” listed on it. Yes we did! Over and over again. We were crying so hard from laughing but we eventually succeeded in emptying the entire restaurant. As we left we both gave the Beavis and Butthead laugh. Good times 🙂

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    • OMG Loon, that hilarious! It occurred to me, after assembling this mash-up monstrosity, that some might miss my subtle (if slightly bent) attempt to lighten it up a bit with humor. Well once again it’s The Friggin Loon to the rescue, helping to salvage what has become a far too serious discussion. Thank you my friend! 😀

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